Game Preview: 3/4/21 at NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 2
Buffalo 2 at NY Rangers 3
Goals: Reinhart, Rieder
Goalie: Hutton (16 saves/19 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 24 – NY Rangers 19

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 67)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 20 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 6 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 6 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/27: Recalled G Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Rasmus Asplund to the taxi squad; Placed G Linus Ullmark on injured reserve
2/28: Recalled D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad and F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Loaned D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad; Reassigned D Casey Fitzgerald from the taxi squad to Rochester (AHL)
3/1: Reassigned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
3/2: Recalled D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Loaned F Casey Mittelstadt to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, March 6: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 7: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 12 p.m.
Tuesday, March 9: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 11: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 13: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME

SABRES at ISLANDERS

  • This is the fourth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 3-2 in New York on Feb. 22, 2021.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 6 in New York
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 177th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-69-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-38-13 on the road against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-9-3 all-time on March 4.
  • March 4, 1972: The Sabres acquire Rene Robert in a trade that completes the French Connection.
  • March 4, 1983: Mal Davis tallies four points and 15 Buffalo players appear on the score sheet in a 10-2 win vs. Pittsburgh.
  • March 4, 2009: Thomas Vanek plays in his 300th career NHL game, a 5-1 win vs. Montreal.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 19-for-22 (86.4%) in the team’s last 12 games against the Islanders.
  • The Sabres have killed off eight consecutive penalties and have not surrendered a power-play goal in three straight games. If the team remains perfect on the penalty kill today, it will make the second time this season and first since Jan. 15 to Jan. 22 that Buffalo played four consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded 18 points (9+9) in his 19 games against the Islanders dating back to the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 10 points (3+7) in his 11 meetings with the Islanders since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
  • Victor Olofsson has points (3+1) in four of his six career games against the Islanders.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has tallied three power-play assists in his last four games against the Islanders.

THREE IN A ROW

  • Tonight’s matchup marks the first time the Sabres will play a team three straight times in the same regular season in franchise history.
  • Buffalo has previously played the same opponent in three straight regular-season games on four occasions by wrapping up one season and beginning the next against the same team: Montreal (1987-88 and 1988-89), Quebec (1981-82 and 1982-83; 1991-92 and 1992-93) and Washington (2019-20 and 2020-21).
  • The Sabres have previously played the same team three times in a 10-day period just 15 times in franchise history. Before doing so against New Jersey in February, Buffalo had never played the same team three times in a seven-day span.

CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo played for the Islanders from 2007-08 to 2015-16 after being drafted in by the team with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. Okposo totaled 369 points (139+230) in 529 games with the Islanders.
  • Islanders director of goaltending Mitch Korn was the Sabres’ goaltending coach from 1990-91 to 1997-98.
  • Islanders assistant video coordinator Corey Smith was the Sabres video coach in 2014-15 and 2015-16. He is the brother of current Sabres video coordinator Kyle Smith and the son of former Sabre Derek Smith.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin won a silver medal for Team Canada with Islanders forward Casey Cizikas at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel and Islanders forwards Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all played for Team USA at both the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2015.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle were teammates in Edmonton for six seasons (2010-11 to 2015-16).
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Islanders forward Leo Komarov both played for Finland’s National Team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle played for Team Canada together at three consecutive IIHF World Championships: in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck was also on the 2011 roster and Sabres forward Eric Staal played with the duo in 2013.
  • Jeff Skinner won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz was one of Canada’s assistant coaches at the tournament.
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart played for Team Canada with Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres tied for sixth in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 52.7
  • Buffalo’s top four faceoff takers (Jack Eichel, Eric Staal, Cody Eakin and Riley Sheahan) each have a faceoff percentage of at least 50 percent.
  • Entering play Wednesday, Sheahan ranked 4th among all players with at least 50 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 61.1 percent (80-for-131).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo entered play Wednesday third in the NHL with a 7 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 15 games, going 16-for-45 (35.6%) during that stretch.
  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres were tied with the Carolina Hurricanes and trailed only the Chicago Blackhawks (11) for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson entered play Wednesday tied for fourth in the league with six power-play goals and tied for fourth with 12 power-play points. His 19 career power-play tallies tie him with Steven Stamkos and trail only David Pastrnak (25), Leon Draisaitl (21) and Auston Matthews (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:18 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-17 (66 drawn/49 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.

STAAL-TIME LEADERS

  • Eric Staal scored his 439th career goal on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to pass Gary Roberts and improve to 68th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. His next goal will tie Rick Tocchet for 67th.
  • Among active players, Staal’s total of 439 career regular-season goals trails only Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, and Sidney Crosby.
  • With 1,029 career points, Staal is currently tied with Alex Kovalev for 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by three points for 79th.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He currently trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .37 G/GP (T-15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on Jan. 15 vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by one goal for eighth-most.
  • Ristolainen’s first assist on Jan. 24 at Washington moved him past Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman. He currently trails Bill Hajt by 10 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen holds the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (T-11th), .38 A/GP (T-11th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings entering play Monday)

  • Buffalo Sabres:7% PP% (3rd), 52.7% FOW% (T-6th)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-4th), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-8th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (50), Lazar (39), Miller (36)
Blocked Shots: Montour (23), Miller (21), Irwin (18)
Shots: Eichel (55), Hall (54), Dahlin (49)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 4-4-2 (10), 30/32, 12/39, 19/23
11-20: 2-7-1 (5), 16/28, 7/23, 18/23

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-2; 126-136 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lafrenière, 2:47)
Feb. 25 vs. NJD: L, 4-3 (GWG-Zacha, 1;17)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-1; 79-72 all-time)
Jan. 22 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Carlson)
Jan. 24 at WSH: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)
Jan. 30 vs. NJD: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 10 assists … 600 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 8 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Curtis Lazar … 300th NHL game … Feb. 27 vs. PHI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s